Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Aloha to New England - Historic Concord

Concord is another historic town near Hanscom AFB.  From its Visitors' Center (link),

Incorporated in 1635, the town was the first Massachusetts settlement away from the tidewater on a non-navigable river. It was settled by the English as a frontier outpost of the Massachusetts bay Colony and was the first interior, non-tidal water town in Massachusetts. On April 19, 1775, it was the scene of the first battle of the War for Independence—the American Revolution. During the middle of the nineteenth century, a period aptly called “The Flowering of New England,” Concord was home to some of the greatest minds in America. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alcott, and his daughter Louisa May Alcott, lived, talked, and wrote in Concord. Because of them, visitors, both literary and transcendental, flocked to this town which became an American Athens.

The Colonial Inn celebrates its patriotic roots.

The Masonic Lodge overlooks Concord center.

The War Memorial honors its hometown heroes ...

... including Captain Hudner, Medal of Honor recipient.

This is a creative wall planter.

Glad to see literacy ...

... and arts alive in small towns!   Today's comments are open forum.  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 21.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

 A pumpkin patch with sunflowers!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Aloha to New England - Lexington Green

While I worked on Hanscom AFB, I often joined friends for lunch in Lexington - a town steeped in American history.  

Lexington honors the ships named after the town.

USS Lexington (1776), a brigantine 
USS Lexington (1825), a sloop-of-war
USS Lexington (1861), a timberclad gunboat 
USS Lexington II (SP-705), later USS SP-705, a patrol vessel 
USS Lexington (CC-1), a Lexington-class battlecruiser
USS Lexington (CV-2), a Lexington-class aircraft carrier 
USS Lexington (CV-16), an Essex-class aircraft carrier

Massachusetts celebrates April 19 as Patriots' Day.

From the History Place (link),

April 18, 1775 - General Gage orders 700 British soldiers to Concord to destroy the colonists' weapons depot.

That night, Paul Revere and William Dawes are sent from Boston to warn colonists. Revere reaches Lexington about midnight and warns Sam Adams and John Hancock who are hiding out there.

At dawn on April 19 about 70 armed Massachusetts militiamen stand face to face on Lexington Green with the British advance guard. An unordered 'shot heard around the world' begins the American Revolution. A volley of British muskets followed by a charge with bayonets leaves eight Americans dead and ten wounded. 

Lexington Green is home of Captain John Parker.

One of my friends married in the First Parish overlooking Lexington Green.

Oh, another book store! 

What is your favorite book store?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on SOS Aloha on September 21.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Aloha to New England - America's Authors and Sleepy Hollow

Hanscom AFB is located outside Boston on the road between Lexington and Concord - two historic towns that play a role in our country's independence.  When I worked on Hanscom AFB, I took an extended lunch and ran along the backroads to soak up the scenery.  Hubby and I drove down memory lane.

We found the Thoreau Farm.  From its website (link),

The Thoreau Farm Trust, a nonprofit organization, is committed to preserving Thoreau’s birth house. We believe Thoreau’s extraordinary insights into life, nature, and social responsibility are as relevant today as they were during his lifetime. We hope you will find his birthplace a source of inspiration for living deliberately, practicing simplicity, and exploring new ideas for positive change. 

New England is green and giving.

The Orchard House is home of the Alcott Family.  From the house's website (link),

After moving twenty-two times in nearly thirty years, the Alcotts finally found their most permanent home at Orchard House, where they lived from 1858 to 1877. The house is most noted for being where Louisa May Alcott wrote and set her beloved classic, Little Women, in 1868 at a "shelf desk" her father built especially for her.

The Orchard House just blends into the New England landscape.

These authors are now buried in Sleepy Hollow near Concord.

The Thoreau plot includes a small tombstone for Henry (lower left).

Notice the pens and pencils left on the graves for Nathaniel Hawthorne

and Louisa May Alcott.

Sleepy Hollow is a peaceful resting ground

for veterans, too.

Have you read Thoreau, Hawthorne, or Alcott?   One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 21.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Aloha to New England - Happy Hanscom

Last week, hubby and I flew up to New England for a mini-vaca.  We stayed outside Boston to take in the local sights, including Hascom AFB, my first duty assignment.   Hanscom began as a flying base in May 1941.   Above is F86 Sabre from the Korean War.  To the right is the running track which hosted the annual 24 hour run to raise funds for charity (we'll come back to that).

During my assignment from 1988 - 1992, Hanscom was home to Electronics Systems Division. Above is my roommates - I'm on the right.   

I worked in the AWACS Program Office - the plane with radar that looks like a frisbee atop an airplane.   

Hanscom is a small base so most folks know each other, leading to the nickname Happy Hanscom.  

Hanscom's only aircraft are static displays, including the P51 Mustang, a WWII era pursuit aircraft.

The Stump Jumper sits across the street from a park with a bench memorializing Captain Michael Neuner.

Michael lead us in many charitable endevours, including the 24 hour charity run.  

When he passed away from cancer in 1991, we decided to honor his memory.   

From 1992, General Fornell (and me) unveiling the bench ...

... and kicking off the 24 hour charity run.   Our visit to Hascom brought back many memories.   I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Have you visited New England?  

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 21.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Below is Michael (holding batton) leading the 24 hour charity run ....

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Aloha to Florida - Univeristy of Tampa

In my last post, I introduced you to the Henry B. Plant Hotel, a Victorian era winter resort in Tampa that now hosts a quaint museum (link).  The hotel is also home to the University of Tampa - my Alma Mater.

From UT's website (link),

Plant Hall, the main academic and administrative building for the University, already had an extraordinary history. Formerly the Tampa Bay Hotel, the building represented, and still remains, a symbol of the city and its history. Local historians credit its builder, railroad and shipping magnate Henry B. Plant, with the transformation of Tampa from a sleepy fishing village to what would become a vibrant city of the 21st century.

Built between 1888 and 1891, the hotel was designed to surpass all other grand winter resorts. At a cost of $3 million, the 511-room giant rose to a flamboyant height of five stories, surrounded by ornate Victorian gingerbread and topped by Moorish minarets, domes and cupolas.

The rooms that once hosted Teddy Roosevelt, the Queen of England, Stephen Crane and Babe Ruth (who signed his first baseball contract in the hotel’s grand dining room) are now classrooms, laboratories and administrative offices–the heart of The University of Tampa and a landscape for state-of-the-art student learning environments.

Speaking of Babe Ruth, this marker outside the Sykes School of Business recognizes his longest homer as a Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees.

The Sykes College of Business fits into the historic atmosphere of the campus.

Inside, the College of Business recognizes the countries attending the University.

Perhaps I should back up and begin with our student guide.

Clearly, he enjoys campus life at UT!

During my time at UT, I enjoyed the Rathskeller in Plant Hall's basement.   

I also enjoyed the soccer games at the Pepin/Rood Stadium.  UT previously hosted collegiate football.  From Wikipedia (link),

The University of Tampa football team was founded in 1933 and remained for thirty-three seasons until 1974.  They officially joined Division 1 in 1971. On November 11, 1974, in front of a crowd of 21,564 fans, the University of Tampa played their final football game, a 35-10 win over Florida A&M University. The team finished with an all-time record of 201-160-12.

Notable alumni included Freddie Solomn (49s) and John Matuszak (Raiders).   It was said around campus that the university discontinued collegiate football to make way for professional football - the Tampa Bay Buccanneers.   Also from Wikipedia (link),

Their uniforms and "Bucco Bruce" winking pirate logo were designed by Tampa Tribune artist Lamar Sparkman, with colors drawn from the state's four major college teams: orange from the universities of Miami and Florida, and red from FSU and the University of Tampa. They were one of the few teams to wear white home uniforms, forcing opponents to wear their dark uniforms in Tampa's 90-degree fall heat.  

UT is the perfect setting for crew (rowing) with direct access to the Hillsborough River.

Notice the "graffiti" along the river - visiting crew teams left their mark!

Overlooking the river is Plant Park, home to the Sticks of Fire.  Some historians believe Tampa translates as "sticks of fire" in the Calusa language from the native tribe in the area.   It may account for the frequently lightning strikes in the summer (Tampa's hockey team is called the Lightning).

The Sticks of Fire match the historic domes over the Plant Hotel.   Below is Fletcher Lounge - orginally a dining facility for the hotel's rich patrons. 

Guests walked from the grand lobby to Fletcher lounge via an enclosed walk way (while servants scurried along the upper floor).

This is noteworthy as there is a discreet entrance to the servants' staircase next to Fletcher Lounge.  In my time, it was used by the students enrolled in math and science classes.   The former kitchen was the biology lab ... 

... and the university created offices for the math teachers inside the dome.

I spent many hours with the math teachers, trying to catch up (remember the Rathskeller?)

As we walked through Plant Hall, we noticed this sign for the Philosophy Department:

Do you have any noteworthy universities in your home town? One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open throguh Saturday, August 23, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, August 24, at SOS Aloha Book Blog, sosaloha.blogspot.com.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Imagine college students haning out in this lobby!